I’m back to vent about school :)
Let me preface by saying that I ADORE our local schools. The Cherubs’ teachers are wonderful, patient, and devoted to their jobs. The past eighteen months have confirmed that I remember almost none of the specifics of my k-12 education (save for the time we were assigned “festooned” and “garish” as vocabulary words and my friend Matt defined them as “Trish’s outfit today.” ) So I am THRILLED that professionals exist to spend 7-8 hours a day pouring knowledge into my children, not to mention keeping them alive.
The problem is, the school wants to involve me in their education. Not just me, but all the parents. And not just the occasional conference update, or a call about a particularly bad day. Nope. They want to me to log in to their website – regularly – and monitor every assignment my kids do. In every class. Just the other day I received an email from #2’s French teacher, reminding me to “check in to see if there are any missing quizzes, tests or homework!” WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT? Isn’t that a conversation you should have with her? Why bring me into it?
Adding to this joy, there are glitches with the system. We’ve been invited to a TRAINING CLASS to learn how to use this complicated, non-intuitive, glitchy program. Or we can WATCH A VIDEO and receive the training that way. Not since my 4th grade Girl Scout leader announced that we’d be camping in her backyard and digging our own outhouse hole have I been less inclined to participate in a new activity.
Here’s why: even if I receive TRAINING, and set about faithfully monitoring the sixteen or so different classes my kids take, on the unlikely chance that my eyes uncross enough to notice that something is missing, then I have to have THIS conversation:
Me: What happened to the worksheet on nuclear physics from last Tuesday?
Cherub: Oh I turned that it.
Me: It didn’t get recorded. It’s marked as missing.
Cherub: But I turned it in.
Me: You should talk to your teacher. Because right now you’re not getting credit for it.
Cherub: But I TURNED IT IN. (Intense look revealing frustration that I’m still not getting it.)
And what we need as we enter the churning waters of tween/teendom is a new reason to argue our way to a hopeless impasse.
I understand that there are parents out there who want to know all these things. Men and women whose idea of partnering with teachers is a little more involved than mine. And to them I say, Enjoy the training!
Steve & I have our hands more than full trying to cover every other area of life on this accelerated schedule. In the few years between meeting the Cherubs & launching them triumphantly into real life, we have to cover EVERYTHING: relationships; money; choices; morals; screen time; work ethic; nutrition; sex; spirituality; the debacle that is the Kardashians; communication; appropriate use of alcohol; how pot makes you look and smell a bit skunky even if it is legal; identity development; reconciling the past/ maximizing the present/envisioning the future; going after what you want; recovering from setbacks, heartbreaks, and my refusal to buy you a Vineyard Vines sweatshirt… the list goes on and on. And we have to do all of this in a way that is lived rather than lectured, because no one remembers parental lectures unless they involve unexpected and uniquely creative use of swear words. I’m not above that. But if there’s a missing verb conjugation assignment floating around out there, could it please not be my problem?
Or better yet, could I hire you, fine helicopter parent, to add my kids to your hover pattern? Just a thought…
Thanks for reading. I feel better now :)